News      |      Events

New rules tipped for Australian TV content

Wednesday 21 Sep 2011
The Australian government’s review of media rules for the digital age is looking at entirely dropping Australian quotas for television and radio, or making them apply to websites, too, if it decides they should be kept, The Age reports.

The Convergence Review was set up last year to examine media regulations in light of the Internet revolution, and was joined last week by a print-focused inquiry headed by retired judge Ray Finkelstein. They will report together next year.

The existing TV quotas require the commercial broadcasters to ensure 55 percent of programmes on their main channels between 6 a.m. and midnight are Australian, while radio stations have Australian music and local news quotas.

There are no quotas for digital channels or websites.

Discussion papers from the Convergence Review this week question whether quotas are the best way to support Australians on air and suggest other options of achieving the same end.

They include giving the ABC and SBS more money for Australian programmes, increasing grants through the funding body Screen Australia or requiring a percentage of the broadcasters’ spending to be on Australian programmes, as pay-TV channels are obliged to do now.

If the quotas are kept, the review asks if they should be extended to websites, and whether websites should be able to meet those obligations with games and other new types of content.

Submissions to the review are open until 28 October.